The last sail of the season
|Amazing sunrise on Inishbofin 10 Oct 2013|
Inishbofin to Galway - the best sail of the year!When dawn broke, it was even colder. But the sunrise was glorious, even though 'red sky at morning, sailors warning' usually means bad stuff coming. We pulled anchor at first light and headed out just ahead of Brian. As we set sails, the wind was a steady 15 knots -just out of the NE instead of the forecast NW. It stayed on the beam most of the way. It was a slightly fluky day with the wind dropping down to less than 10 knots then charging up to 20+, but that made it interesting and exhilarating.
|Fascinating light over the Twelve Bens of Connemara in County Galway|
|Daria at the helm - nice swell!|
|Passing Slyne Head on a settled day|
|Alex at the helm under blue sky|
We had plenty of opportunity this time to observe the coast. How very different it is from Clew Bay or Donegal Bay. Clew Bay has mountains that come down to the sea and hundreds of tiny islands to explore. Donegal Bay is ringed by spectacular cliffs and inlets that form natural harbours. Galway Bay has a relatively flat shore on the Galway County side and gentle but stark hills on the Clare side. There are few natural inlets, and no where to anchor between Cashla Bay and Galway. Rossaveal in Cashla is where the ferries depart from that service the Aran Islands.
When the time came, Alex called the harbour and asked if the gates were opening on time. They were already open we were told. Then he asked about any traffic of concern. They said we'd have to get in right away as there was a tanker leaving at precisely 2000 hours. PANIC. No way would we be able to fit with a tanker in the channel. We had 15 minutes to get in and out of the way.
|The cardinal mark at Black Rock|
It's 9 pm and we think, who wants to cook? Let's get to a restaurant to have dinner. We are in Galway after all. We call the harbourmaster's office to get the combination for the gate or we wouldn't get back in. We both shower and change in less than 20 minutes and get to Chez Azur on the harbour in time to order. What an amazing day! One of the best sailing days ever. Wonderful way to end the season.
|Past Inishmore and into Galway Bay|
|The Clare shore of Galway Bay at the Burren|
|The lighthouse on Mutton Island|
|Tidying up on a mooring awaiting the opening of the locks|
|Sun setting over Salt Hill|
|Moon rising over the Burren|